Trust boosts critical surgical training in Africa with grant

Trust boosts critical surgical training in Africa with grant

The ALBORADA Trust has awarded Mercy Ships a grant to fund the vital training of surgeons in West and East Africa.

A previous gift from the Trust in 2019, enabled Mercy Ships to train 12 Senegalese surgeons, whose new skills have transformed the lives of many patients.

The new grant will help far more surgeons improve their grasp of techniques and provide mentorship to local surgeons to develop their specialities.

Previously, the ALBORADA Trust’s funds enabled surgical training for specialities including general surgery, maxillofacial, paediatric, women’s health, ophthalmic and dental.

The next generation of surgeons took their new skills back to hospitals across the nation, strengthening healthcare in Africa and ensuring a lasting legacy throughout the regions.

This included three ophthalmic surgeons, which equates to a massive increase in national medical capacity of some 7 per cent. A Mercy Ships 2018 assessment found just 48 ophthalmologists in the country, serving a population of just under 16 million people.

Mercy Ships UK Chief Executive Officer Joanne Balaam said: “We are delighted at the news the ALBORADA Trust has agreed to support the work of Mercy Ships again. The impact of the previous grant enabled us to deliver a highly successful Surgeon Mentoring project in Senegal which has created a lasting impact. This grant will greatly strengthen surgical skills and infrastructure throughout East and West Africa, changing the lives of so many for years to come.

“We look forward to reporting back on the lasting legacy it leaves behind.”

The surgical skills boost will mean many more will get access to the life-changing surgery. Also, the mentoring programme includes Train the Trainer, whereby those trained are also provided with the skills and confidence to train colleagues at their home hospitals in the new techniques and thinking.